Blue Point Brewing has been active in local community affairs since it was founded 20 years ago in Patchogue. But now that the brewery is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev and distributed in all 50 states, Blue Point is also taking on important national issues such as getting more people out to vote.
Jenna Lally, a Long Island native who took over as Blue Point’s president a year ago, thinks people need time off from work to get to the polls. So Lally launched the Voters’ Day Off initiative to encourage Congress to make Election Day a national holiday.
“We know many Americans are eager to vote,” said Lally. “But in the last midterm elections, 60 percent of eligible voters didn’t vote because of work or school conflicts. We all deserve time to be able to exercise this fundamental right.”
In true Blue Point fashion, the initiative centered around a special beer, Voters’ Day Off, a hoppy brew that Lally described as a hybrid East Coast/West Coast IPA. The beer was sold at Blue Point’s tasting room in Patchogue and at several events on Long Island and in Brooklyn, with proceeds going to benefit the nonprofit voter registration group Rock the Vote.
The beer can’s label featured a petition to Congress with a place for the drinker to sign. Blue Point collected thousands of the cans, which Lally and Blue Point’s co-founder Mark Burford delivered to the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC on Oct. 24.
Blue Point also took out a full page ad in The New York Times announcing the initiative and launched the petition on Change.org, where it has garnered 50,000 signatures.
“I’m very encouraged with the response to the initiative,” said Lally. “We plan to continue doing this every election season until Congress makes this change.”
In the meantime, Blue Point’s employees will have Election Day off to exercise their right to vote.
Bernie Kilkelly is the editor and publisher of LIBeerGuide.com.